Lettrist International

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The Lettrist International (or Letterist International; LI) was a Paris-based collective of radical artists and theorists between 1952 and 1957. It was created by Guy Debord as a schism from Isidore Isou's Lettrist group. The group went on to join others in forming the Situationist International, taking some key techniques and ideas with it.

Publications

Potlatch, 29 numbers, 1954-1957, PDFs, PDF (transcript).

(in French)

Periodicals

  • Potlatch: bulletin d'information de groupe français de l'Internationale lettriste, later Potlatch: bulletin d'information de l'Internationale lettriste, 29 numbers (27 issues), eds. André-Frank Conord (1-8), Mohamed Dahou (9-18, 20-22), Gil J. Wolman (19), and Jacques Fillon (23-24), Paris, 22 Jun 1954-5 Nov 1957; new ed., augm., as Potlatch, 1954-1957, Paris: Lebovici, 1985, 242 pp; repr. as Guy Debord présente Potlatch, 1954-1957, Paris: Gallimard, 1996, 291 pp. [1] [2]
  • Les Lèvres Nues, 12 numbers, Brussels, 1954-1958; facs., Paris: Plasma, 1978, 500 pp; Paris: Allia, 1999. [4]

Books, articles

  • Guy Debord, "Les environs de Fresnes" [1952-1953], in Debord, Enregistrements magnétiques, Paris: Gallimard, 2010.
  • Visages de l’avant-garde 1953: Internationale lettriste [1953], ed. Jean-Louis Rançon, Paris: Jean-Paul Rocher, 2010. Text from the LI that recalls the adventures of the lettrists between 1945 to February 1953, first published 2010. [5]. Review: Froger (Critique d'art).
  • Patrick Straram, Les bouteilles se couchent [1953], Paris: Allia, 2006. Semi-fictionalised contemporary account of the scene, written in 1953 but lost until recently.
  • Ed Van der Elsken, Love on the Left Bank, 1956; repr., Stockport: Dewi Lewis Publishing, 1999. Ed van der Elsken was a Dutch photographer, who captured the scene around Moineau's during the period. Included among the people depicted in this book are a few members and associates of the LI (particularly Mension and Papaï).
  • Guy Debord, "Histoire de l'Internationale lettriste" [1956], in Debord, Enregistrements magnétiques, Paris: Gallimard, 2010.
  • Documents relatifs à la fondation de l'Internationale situationniste, 1948-1957, ed. Gérard Berréby, Paris: Allia, 1985. [6]
  • Guy Debord, Le marquis de Sade a des yeux de fille, Paris: Fayard, 2004. Correspondence between Debord, Hervé Falcou and Ivan Chtcheglov in the early 1950s. [7]
English translations

Literature

(in French unless noted otherwise)

  • Jean-Louis Brau, Cours camarade, le vieux monde est derrière toi, Paris: Albin Michel, 1968.
  • Eliane Brau, Le Situationnisme ou la Nouvelle Internationale, Paris: Debresse, 1968.
  • Jean-Louis Brau, Le Singe appliqué, Paris: Grasset, 1972; Paris: Le Dilettante, 2012.
  • Stewart Home, "The Lettriste International (1952-57)", ch 3 in Home, The Assault on Culture: Utopian Currents from Lettrisme to Class War, London: Aporia Press and Unpopular Books, 1988; 2nd ed., AK Press, 1991. (English)
  • Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century, London: Secker & Warburg, 1989, 496 pp; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989, 496 pp; new ed., London: Penguin, 1993, 512 pp; repr., Harvard University Press, 2009. (English)
    • Tracce di rossetto: percorsi segreti nella cultura del Novecento dal dada ai Sex Pistols, trans. Mita Vitti, Milan: Leonardo, 1991, 506 pp; repr., Milan: Il Saggiatore, 2018, 523 pp. (Italian)
    • Lipstick Traces: von Dada bis Punk - eine geheime Kulturgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts, trans. Hans M. Herzog and Friedrich Schneider, Hamburg: Rogner & Bernhard bei Zweitausendeins, 1992, 512 pp. (German)
    • Rastros de carmín. Una historia secreta del siglo XX, trans. Damián Alou, Barcelona: Anagrama, 1993, 527 pp. (Spanish)
    • Lipstick traces: une histoire secrète du vingtième siècle, trans. Guillaume Godard, Paris: Gallimard, 1998, 602 pp. [8] (French)
    • Stopy rtěnky: tajná historie dvacátého století, trans. Dušan Krejčí, Olomouc: Votobia, 1998, 427 pp. (Czech)
    • Ruj lekesi: Yirminci Yüzyılın gizli tarihi, trans. Gürol Koca, Istanbul: Ayrıntı, 1999, 496 pp. (Turkish)
    • Sledy pomady: Taynaya istoriya XX veka [Следы помады: Тайная история XX века], trans. A. Umnyashov, Moscow: Hylaea (Гилея), 2019, 640 pp. [9] (Russian)
  • Jean-Michel Mension, La Tribu, Paris: Allia, 1998.
  • Richard Grasshoff, Der Befreite Buchstabe. Über Lettrismus. Letters in Freedom, 2000. Dissertation. (German)
  • Jean-Michel Mension, Le Temps gage, Paris: Noésis, 2001.
  • Andrew Hussey, The Game of War, London: Jonathan Cape, 2001. (English)
  • Marc Vachon, L’arpenteur de la ville: L’utopie situationniste et Patrick Straram, Montreal: Triptyque, 2003.
  • Figures de la négation: avant-gardes du dépassement de l'art, ed. Yan Ciret, Saint-Étienne: Musée d'art moderne, 2004, 178 pp. TOC. Catalogue for exh. held 22 Nov 2003-22 Feb 2004. (French)
  • Bernard Girard, Paris, laboratoire des avant-gardes, 1945-1965, Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2008. Review: Pageard (Critique d'art). (French)
  • Michel Giroud, Lettrisme, L’ultime avant-garde, Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2010, 256 pp. [10]
  • Lettrisme: vue d’ensemble sur quelques dépassements précis, La Seyne-sur-Mer: Villa Tamaris, 2010. Catalogue.
  • Giulia Ciliberto, Veronica Vitti, Lettrismo / French Current of the Letter, c2010. (Italian)
  • Guillaume Robin, Lettrisme, le bouleversement des arts: essai sur le lettrisme et les différents mouvements artistiques, Paris: Hermann, 2010. Review.
  • Nicole Brenez, ‘We support everything since the dawn of time that has struggled and still struggles.’ Introduction to lettrist cinema, Stockholm and Berlin: Moderna Muset/Sternberg Press, 2015, 72 pp. (English) [11]
  • Kaira M. Cabañas, Off-Screen Cinema: Isidore Isou and the Lettrist Avant-Garde, University of Chicago Press, 2015, 192 pp. (English)
  • James Trier, "Guy Debord, the Lettrists, and the Lettrist International, 1951–1957", ch 2 in Trier, Guy Debord, the Situationist International, and the Revolutionary Spirit, Leiden: Brill, 2019, pp 29-78. [12] (English)

Resources

See also

Links


Visual art

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